Building-in quality rather than assessing quality afterwards: a technological solution to ensuring computational accuracy in learning materials

Dunn, Peter K. (2008) Building-in quality rather than assessing quality afterwards: a technological solution to ensuring computational accuracy in learning materials. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 27 (1). pp. 47-63. ISSN 0731-9258

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Abstract

[Abstract]: Quality encompasses a very broad range of ideas in learning materials, yet the accuracy of the content is often overlooked as a measure of quality. Various aspects of accuracy are briefly considered, and the issue of computational accuracy is then considered further. When learning materials are produced containing the results of mathematical computations, accuracy is essential: but how can the results of these computations be known to be correct? A solution is to embed the instructions for performing the calculations in the materials, and let the computer calculate the result and place it in the text. In this way, quality is built into the learning materials by design, not evaluated after the event. This is all accomplished using the ideas of literate programming, applied to the learning materials context. A small example demonstrates how remarkably easy the ideas are to apply in practice using the appropriate technology. Given that the technology is available and is easy to use, it would appear imperative that the approach discussed is adopted to improve quality in learning materials containing computational results.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. 'Copyright by AACE. Reprinted from the Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching with permission of AACE (http://www.aace.org).'
Depositing User: Dr Peter Dunn
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2008 04:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: quality, education, materials
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/3886

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